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Apple Watch Nips at Fitbit's Heels
Despite disparaging sales reports, the Apple Watch is closing in on market leader Fitbit, according to a new IDC report. During the second quarter, Apple shipped 3.6 million watches -- 800,000 units behind Fitbit's shipments for the period. Shipments for all wearables during the quarter increased 223 percent from the same period a year ago, IDC reported, to 18.1 million units from 5.6 million.
Amazon Firing Spree Follows Fire Phone Flop
Amazon reportedly has given the boot to dozens of engineers who worked on its ill-fated Fire Phone. The purged staffers worked at Lab126, Amazon's secretive Silicon Valley-based hardware development center. Amazon also scaled back or killed off several other Lab126 projects, including a large-screen tablet, and it reorganized the center to combine two hardware units into one.
Intel Pumps OpenStack Up
As part of a new strategic collaboration, Intel will lead a $100 million funding round in Mirantis, the companies announced earlier this week. Intel is a long-time investor in Mirantis. This round includes existing investors August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures and WestSummit Capital, as well as new investor Goldman Sachs.
3 Ways Great Customer Experiences Boost Sales
Hardened sales veterans may hear the expression"customer experience"and shrug or scoff. What has it got to do with them, they may ask? A lot -- because it can add dollars directly to their commissions checks, even if they're not the ones creating the experiences. There are three specific ways that meeting or exceeding customer expectations improves sales.
I Can't Hear You, the Washing Machine Is Too Loud
Why do my GE washer and dryer sound as loud as a hurricane? As I sit here at the beach, on the balcony, on a beautiful, sunny, warm and peaceful morning watching the sun rise over the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, something is terribly wrong. What? I can't hear you. Could you speak louder? Sorry, the new washer and dryer we recently bought are roaring so loud I can't hear myself think.
Malvertising Headache Swells to Migraine Proportions
Online advertising that pushes malicious software to consumers has increased 325 percent over the past year, Cyphort Labs reported Tuesday. Malvertising is adding to what is already a significant problem for online advertisers. Ad fraud will cost global advertisers more than $6 billion this year, according to the Association of National Advertisers.
To Personalize or to Be Authentic
You might ask what the difference is between personalization and authenticity in CRM, and the answer is subtle. For a long time I have said that we overemphasize personalization when what customers really want is authenticity. However, examples are hard to find, especially with our current culture's strong emphasis on personalization and the tendency to give authenticity quizzical looks.
Vendors Should Keep a Weather Eye on Defense IT
DoD is seeking vendors to participate in a multiyear IT support program with a total contract value of $12 billion. DoD has indicated it will release a Request for Proposals for the Encore III program, which covers a wide range of IT services, by the end of this month. The amount of the tech support contract is a reminder that DoD spends more money on IT by far than any other government entity.
Cyber-Posse Aims to Round Up Ashley Madison Hackers
The Toronto Police Service on Monday reported on the progress of Project Unicorn, the official investigation into the hack attack on Ashley Madison, an adultery-promoting website. The Toronto police are working closely with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the RCMP, the FBI, and the Ministry of the Attorney General's criminal law office in carrying out the investigation.
Spredfast Gets Something to Shout About
Spredfast last week announced its acquisition of Shoutlet, a social data aggregator. Shoutlet has been a"huge innovator"in the social CRM space, said Spredfast CEO Rod Favaron."With this acquisition, Spredfast gains that technology as well as the team that built it. It's a game changer. ... Customers will have more ways to understand their audiences and impact the customer journey."
McDonald's Tips Android Pay Launch
An internal McDonald's memo labeled"proprietary and confidential"has been circulating, advising employees to get ready for a Wednesday launch of Android Pay -- the successor to Google Wallet, and Google's answer to Apple Pay. Google officially announced Android Pay this spring, during it's annual developers conference, saying only that Android Pay would launch with"Android M."
Samsung to Ask SC to Reverse Tide in Apple Case
Samsung last week filed a motion to stay the U.S. Court of Appeals' order in its multiyear patent war with Apple, indicating that it plans to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Samsung reportedly will ask the Court to hear its appeal of a 2012 federal jury's verdict that it violated Apple's iPhone patents. Samsung has received support for its position from several large tech firms.
iPhone Users Can Test-Drive Samsung Galaxy for One Thin Dollar
Samsung on Friday kicked off the Samsung Ultimate Test Drive, a new promotion aimed at drawing iPhone users into its fold. For just one dollar Samsung will provide iPhone users with a Galaxy smartphone -- models available include the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, as well as the S6 edge+ and Note 5 -- plus a month of cellular service. The promotion is open only to iPhone users.
Smartphone Sales Sag in China
China experienced the first-ever downturn in its smartphone market in the second quarter of 2015, and it was enough to drag global sales to a two-year low, Gartner Research said Thursday. The rest of the Asia Pacific smartphone market saw substantial growth in the quarter. iOS snatched a tad of market share -- about 2.4 percent -- from the other mobile operating systems.
Wireless Performance Studies and You
It appears both AT&T Mobility and Sprint deserve congratulations on their great performances, based on two just-released studies on the wireless wars. J.D. Power and RootMetrics revealed some interesting and surprising new information on this changing marketplace. For the fifth time, AT&T won first place with J.D. Power. For its part, Sprint showed significant performance improvement over the last year.
Back to School
It felt like back to school this week at the CRM Evolution show in hot and muggy New York. The first week or two of the school year is always like that. Though it still feels like summer vacation, you know you have to get focused, because the first exam will be here before you know it. Cramming begins almost immediately, because there seem to be a lot of new ideas percolating.
Gear Up for a Flood of IoT Support Requests
Growth of the Internet of Things in broadband households extends the life, utility and functionality of all connected solutions in the home. It also puts new pressures on existing support solutions to meet consumers' expectations. Sixteen percent of U.S. broadband households owned a smart home device, and nearly 40 percent planned to buy one in the next 12 months, suggests recent research.
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Ashley Madison World
Hackers have dumped personal data of about 37 million members of the Ashley Madison website onto the Dark Web. The data was stolen in an attack on the site, which aims to hook up people who want to cheat on their spouses. Parent company"Avid Life Media has failed to take down Ashley Madison and Established Men,"the Impact Team wrote in a post online. ... Now everyone gets to see their data."
FCC Fine Hints at End to Exorbitant Convention Center WiFi Fees
The FCC on Tuesday announced that Smart City Holdings had agreed to pay a $750,000 fine to settle allegations that it blocked personal mobile hotspots in several convention centers, forcing exhibitors and attendees to use its services instead, at $80 a day. Blocking FCC-approved WiFi connections is"patently unlawful,"remarked Travis LeBlanc, chief of the commission's enforcement bureau.
AT&T Went Above and Beyond for NSA, Say Snowden Docs
The National Security Agency considered its relationship with AT&T unique and particularly productive, accordingto a report published Saturday. The information about the company's close ties with the agency came from the trove of documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. NSA lauded AT&T for its"extreme willingness to help,"giving it access to billions of emails among other things.
Fork Release Intensifies Bitcoin Community Bitterness
A full release of Bitcoin XT just became available, heaping fuel on the fire spreading throughout the community. One site went so far as to ban XT-related posts, resulting in allegations that a small cabal had taken control and was suppressing discussion and dissent. The cause of all the furor is a dispute over how to ensure that the Bitcoin system's capacity keeps up with its rapid growth.
Dearth of a Salesman: Does Technology Erode Sales Talent?
For many years, provocateurs have been able to stir people up by proclaiming the death of the salesperson. Ten years ago, in fact, Marc Miller authored the book Selling is Dead. It must be a lingering death, because I still know lots of salespeople. I sure hope they have their affairs in order, what with their impending demise foreshadowed for so long.
Bezos Rebuffs Expose of Amazon's Cold-Blooded Culture
CEO Jeff Bezo on Sunday refuted contentions that Amazon has a draconian workplace culture."TheNYTarticle prominently features anecdotes describing shockingly callous management practices, including people being treated without empathy while enduring family tragedies and serious health problems,"Bezos wrote in an email sent to Amazon employees following the article's publication.
Legislation Aims to Bring Product Warranties Into the Internet Age
The process of"checking the fine print"always has been an important aspect of consumer behavior. For product manufacturers, providing important transaction information to consumers also has been a challenging part of business operations.Take the fine print of warranty information, for example. In the world of e-commerce, how should sellers and buyers approach the warranty issue?
Open Mainframe Project Pushes Linux's Limits
The Linux Foundation on Monday announced the formation of the Open Mainframe Project to advance the development of Linux on the mainframe among academia, government and corporate partners. The foundation announced the software consortium at the LinuxCon/CloudOpen/ContainerCon gathering in Seattle. The project will create a set of tools and resources to drive further collaboration and improvements.
Report: Ad Blockers Are Killing Ad Dollars
About $21.8 billion in global ad revenues have been lost so far this year due to ad blockers, according to a report Pagefair released this week in partnership with Adobe.Consumers increasingly are opting for tools to shut down ads before they pop up. By next year, the U.S. alone should account for about $20 billion in blocked ad revenue, the report predicts.